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388th Bombardment Group (Heavy)

Aircraft:B-17
Group Emblem:
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Wing:45th Combat Bombardment Wing
Division:3rd Bombardment Division
Airfield(s)
Squadrons:560th Bombardment Squadron
561st Bombardment Squadron
562nd Bombardment Squadron
563rd Bombardment Squadron
Tail Marking:
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Details:Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England in Jun 1943 and assigned to Eighth AF. Began operations on 17 Jul 1943 by attacking an aircraft factory in Amsterdam.

Functioned primarily as a strategic bombardment Organization until the war ended. Targets included industries, naval installations, oil storage plants, refineries, and communications centers in Germany, France, Poland, Belgium, Norway, Rumania, and Holland.

Received a DUC for withstanding heavy opposition to bomb vital aircraft factory at Regensburg on 1 Aug 1943. Received another DUC for three outstanding missions: an attack against a tire and rubber factory in Hannover on 26 Jul 1943; the bombardment of a synthetic oil refinery in Brux on 12 Ma 1944; and a strike against a synthetic oil refinery at Ruhland on 21 Jun 1944, during a shuttle raid from England to Russia.

Attacked many other significant targets, including aircraft factories in Kassel, Reims, and Brunswick; airfields in Bordeaux, Paris, and Berlin; naval works at La Pallice, Emden, and Kiel; chemical industries in Ludwigshafen; ball-bearing plants in Schweinfurt; and marshalling yards in Brussels, Osnabruck, and Bielefeld. Operations also included support and interdictory missions.

Helped prepare for the invasion of Normandy by attacking military installations in France, and on D-Day struck coastal guns, field batteries, and transportation. Continued to support ground forces during the campaign that followed, hitting such objectives as supply depots and troop concentrations. Bombed in support of ground forces at St Lo in Jul 1944 and at Caen in Aug. Covered the airborne assault on Holland in Sep 1944 by attacking military installations and airfields at Arnheim. Aided the final drive through Germany during the early months of 1945 by striking targets such as marshalling yards, rail bridges, and road junctions.

After V-E Day, flew food to Holland to relieve flood-stricken areas. Returned to the US in Aug. Inactivated on 28 Aug 1945.

    Commanders:
  • Col William B David, 1 Feb 1943
  • Col Chester C Cox, 7 Oct 1944

Air Force Combat Units of World War II, Maurer, Maurer: USAF, 1986

Accident Reports:Number of Non-Combat-Related Accident reports for this group: